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Mississippi’s Grow-Your-Own Teacher Initiative

As noted in Mississippi’s Consolidated State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Mississippi State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) understands
the importance and urgency of addressing teacher workforce disparities in the state, especially those in high-needs areas where large percentages of students from low-income households and students of color are taught by less effective teachers. In both state plans, teacher pipeline concerns are addressed and viewed through the lens of equity.

In accordance with Goal 4: Every Student has Effective Teachers and Leaders, in the Mississippi State Board of Education’s 5-Year Strategic Plan, the MDE is committed to reducing, and ultimately eliminating, the disproportionalities existing in districts experiencing critical teacher shortages.

Therefore, to ensure equitable access to effective teachers for all students, especially students of color and those from low-income households, the MDE convened a task force to explore Grow-Your-Own (GYO) strategies that could positively impact teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention in Mississippi’s hard-to-staff school districts. 

In April 2019, the MDE released the GYO Teacher Task Force Report outlining recommendations for MDE, legislators, Community Colleges, public Institutions of Higher Learning, private colleges and universities, and local school districts.  These recommendations include strategies to diversify and strengthen the teacher workforce pipeline and target three groups:

  • Middle and High School Students
  • Paraprofessionals and Classified Staff
  • Community Colleges and Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs)
Task Force Report

The Mississippi Grow-Your-Own Teacher Task Force Report also contains a review of relevant literature and a lengthy reference list of helpful resources for stakeholders interested in reading more about other states’ experiences with GYO initiatives and the root causes contributing to some students’ lack of equitable access to effective teachers.

Click on the report cover to read the full text.


Other Resources:


GYO Resources: